July 2015 Meeting Report

The July ANC meeting started off in a frustrating fashion. We had hoped to discuss the murder of a homeless man at St. Luke’s with the police, but the officer who attended was not from our PSA and was uninformed on this issue. We then hoped to hear from DDOT Deputy Director Greer Gillis about pedestrian safety issues, particularly in relation to the fatal accident at Calvert and 37th Streets in which an elderly woman was killed in a crosswalk. But Ms. Gillis did not show up. We have rescheduled Ms. Gillis for our September 10 meeting and expect our regular MPD officer to attend as well.

Bike Route. The Commission passed a resolution in favor of extending the existing bike route on New Mexico Avenue through Glover Park. The plan includes short sections of bike lane on the uphill portions of Tunlaw Road heading southbound past 39th St. and shared road between bicycles and motor vehicles for the rest of the distance down Tunlaw and 37th to Whitehaven Parkway. Eventually, the bike route is to continue into Georgetown. The resolution amended the original plan to accommodate residents of Tunlaw Court apartments who stood to lose the only parking they have.

Saying No to Electronic Signs. The Commission also passed a resolution opposing a proposal that would allow electronic signs and billboards in at least four Designated Entertainment Areas (Verizon Center, Gallery Place, Nationals Ballpark, and the new southwest waterfront development). The proposal would give the Mayor sole authority to create additional DEAs. Instead we (and other ANCs) are proposing that the Zoning Commission take on that responsibility.

Garfield and Wisconsin. In response to concern expressed by neighbors and the ANC3C about the pavement striping on southbound Wisconsin that forces a lane shift to the left, the ANC passed a resolution calling for DDOT to review the intersection at Garfield and Wisconsin.

Savoy Suites Renovation. The Commission then heard from Matt Wexler about the renovations under way at the Savoy Suites Hotel. He explained that the hotel will be renamed The Glover Park Hotel and will become part of the Kimpton chain when the renovations are completed, perhaps late this year. He said he and his team expect the hotel to be the favorite of neighbors and they want to be a positive part of the neighborhood.
As part of the renovation, the hotel is creating a roof deck that will seat 136 people. It is also renovating the ground floor restaurant, which seats 155. The 153 rooms will be offered at reasonable rates, with a discount available to guests of local residents.

The Commission passed a resolution to protest the expansion of alcohol service to the new rooftop space as a way to allow more time for the hotel to come to an agreement with its neighbors regarding the hours of roof deck service and the use of amplified music, among other issues. The protest will not be filed if an agreement is successfully concluded before the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration deadline for comment on August 10.

Other Matters. The Commission also approved a request to remove a gingko tree submitted by a majority of neighbors on 39th Place, which had already been sanctioned by DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration.

ANC Commissioner Abigail Zenner noted that in response to the two pedestrian fatalities on Wisconsin Avenue in June, AllWalksDC organized a memorial walk and representatives from DDOT, MPD, and Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Elissa Silverman participated. She reported that they are aware that our neighborhood is watching for their response to pedestrian safety issues.

Next Meeting. The Commission does not meet in August but will reconvene on September 10, when invited guests include Emanuel Briggs of DC Water, who will address green infrastructure issues and update us on the Glover-Archbold sewer line project, and DDOT Deputy Director Greer Gillis, who will discuss pending resolutions from ANC3B as well as pedestrian safety issues.